A black swan is a rare event that can be classified as unpredictable and catastrophic and having a disruptive influence on a significant number of people. The Coronavirus 2019 is a classic example. This insignificant disease from somewhere far away in China suddenly spread across the world and caused the world economy to go through a sudden and very sharp dip due to the uncertainty it brought.
Furthermore, the ripple effect of the shutdown of worldwide economic activities will be dire. Some economists reckon that China, which depends heavily on their manufacturing industry that involves a lot of human activity, will never recover completely. Mind you, the dozen or so countries on the top of the list will also be severely affected.
It is peculiar but very saddening that the first death in the BNZ-countries is the 30 year old Zororo Makamba, a famous Zimbabwean television journalist. We send our deepest condolences to his family.
When going to print, Zimbabwe (3), Namibia (7) and Botswana (0) are still three of the few countries where the number of cases is nominal and the increases slow-moving. Touch wood. The border closures and restrictions on movement are a pain though. We can only hope that the economy and our activities will spring back to normal after the crisis is over.
Besides South Africa, it seems as if Southern Africa overall is going to be minimally affected. We also had the advantage of hindsight after we saw that happened in China and how they responded. With diligence, their disaster management and medical industry brought it back to manageable numbers.
They did a really fantastic job in ensuring containment in their country at last. The governments of the BNZ-countries acted in time. This is reassuring and when followed diligently, the spread will be minimal. We can also only hope that the virus doesn’t slip undetected past our containment and precautionary measures to cause havoc among the vulnerable of our populace. Our health care systems will struggle to cope.
The other challenge, which is less of a possibility and more real, is the immediate future of the foreign trade from especially China. Southern Africa depends on China for many manufactured products, and our commodities need to be exported to a country that reduced their economic activities. Let’s hope circumstances in China will be back to normal soon.
Please stay home as much as possible during the following month or two and rather read our magazines.
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